Extra Calderdale parking charging hour ‘meet little resistance’ says Cabinet member
Calderdale Council has had “little resistance to relatively modest charges” after charging hours were recently increased in parts of the borough, said a Cabinet member.
A questioner said she had spoken to a number of hospitality businesses in Calderdale following the extension of charging and was “sad to hear the detrimental impact on their businesses.”
“Pre-8pm bookings are now very unpopular, customers are spending their money elsewhere, away from Halifax town centre.
“After a tough 18 months you should be helping businesses to get back on their feet,” she said.
But Cabinet member for Public Services and Communities, Coun Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park) told members of the full Calderdale Council: “We know people don’t like to pay more but the extension of charging hours into the evening and Bank Holidays is a reflection of the demand and quality of premium parking spaces at those times and increasing demand for spaces.
“So far we have had little resistance to relatively modest charges,”
Coun Lynn said she had been into Halifax town centre, had also spoken to a number of different businesses and it had been quite busy.
“Changes are to encourage turnover of parking spaces in response to high demand created by the weekend and night time economy.
“Therefore we want to support local businesses so those customers who want to park nearby are able to park in those spaces,” she said.
Coun Lynn, who was giving her answer in the public question time section of the meeting, said a charge was being applied to premium spaces and people who did not want to pay it could park away from the central area.
The council was also working towards improving public transport links.
“It is a fine balance where costs need to be affordable but not too low that spaces become blocked up for too long making it hard for others coming into town to find a space,” said Coun Lynn.
Calderdale’s charges were much smaller than similar areas around the country and it had been more than eight years since charging hours were reviewed, she added.
A number of petitions were handed into the council at the meeting.
Coun Stephen Baines (Con, Northowram and Shelf) presented one with more than 500 signatures concerned by ongoing issues with the “Holmfield Hum” – a noise damaging residents; mental health but which has not yet been successfully traced.
“This is having an impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing, lack of sleep, headaches pressure on the head and ears and anxiety, in one case causing shingles,” he said.
Coun Jacob Cook (Con, Greetland and Stainland) presented a petition with more than 1,000 signatures requesting West Vale become an air quality management area.
Petitions with more than 500 signatures but less than 2,000 will be considered by one of the council’s scrutiny panels.